Dawkins: the evangelical atheist?

Another review of Dawkins’ new documentary The Genius of Charles Darwin. This reviewer finds conflict in Dawkins’ attempt to play at times both the impartial scientist and the firebrand atheist. Personally, I can understand: Even the best of scientists will go batshit insane after explaining why 2+2 = 4 and not 3, only to be perpetually ignored or told “Let these people think it’s 3 if they want to, it’s okay.”

Dawkins’ simple yet elegant address of Darwinism will surely make the programme a success, yet his attack on religion still seems to be somewhat indistinct. One obvious problem for Dawkins is that he battles to hold two rather inharmonious positions; at once he is the scientist – disciplined in observation and objectivity. But also he is the emotionally charged evangelical atheist.

Since the release of his bestseller, Dawkins has been unable to separate the two positions. Gone are the days of the professor dissecting halibut in front of an audience of pre-teens divided into those who are averting their squeamish gazes and those who can’t for the life of them turn away. Now, even in his scientific capacity, Dawkins is belligerent.

The God Delusion really marked the point where Dawkins transformed from the professor holding the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science to the celebrity fundamentalist atheist.

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